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"So perhaps the the real problem is the way that "technology for my work" is often so different from "technology for my life"."

I think this observation is spot on, and it's something that isn't confined to the education sector. As trainers/educators I believe we are much better served by finding ways to support learning using the technology the student is already using in 'real life' rather than introducing something new.

The difference between personal & work life is that we're in control of the changes that result in our personal life through using technology. In schools, teachers are not in control of the basic structure of their day, nor of the curriculum. To many of them technology offers no advantage to their current way of working.

It's only when we allow the underlying management and curriculum infrastructures to change will technology really start to make an impact.

... and technology for my/their "education" may be different again.

It frustrates me when I hear about school students being taught how to use PowerPoint - a woefully misused business app (even in business) that probably wont be relevant to most school leavers, if it even exists by then!

What is the point in spending billions on tools developed for an entirely different sector - is it any wonder they're not embraced.

Schooling is a complex process. I have found that where (secondary) teachers are keen to introduce digital technologies in appropriate ways into their teaching programmes they can find resistance by their students (and families) who want to know what will get them a job or teach them what they need (facts) for exams. Changing concepts about what it is to be a learner in the digital age can take time...
It is far too simplistic to blame the teachers for not using the technologies it is far more complex than this...
Interesting blog- thanks!

So "..not enough schools are using technology effectively". What are the set of circumstances that might make this false? How many organisations across the globe "are using technology effectively"? Very very few I'd assert. Surveys of CIOs from British businesses indicate large numbers think their Board doesn't fully appreciate the value IT brings. How about another question - how many organisations are using their human resources effectively? Or their office space? Pinder is partly to blame for this by shaping the debate around there being some big problem that needs to be solved. I would like to see more celebration of the exciting and innovative things that are being done in the state education system with technology. By the way, what exactly were Pinder's achievements as E-Envoy that make him so well equipped to analyse this issue?

'Teacher technophobia' is, I fear, the right term, or damn close.

Teaching is not a necessary condition for learning and as long as we see the 'teacher' as always being at the centre of the process,we shall fall into the trap of expecting 'them' to use the 'technology' to 'teach'.

I am a school governor in a large comprehensive school and let me tell you how it is...

The school has spent oodles of money on Whiteboards, licences for MyMaths and lots of other packages for use at home by students. Yet, little or no effective use is made of the software, as most of the teachers believe that 'they', and only 'they' can design lessons and homework (which in any case is a rare sight for most parents and is invariably a photocopied sheet). They are obsessed with DIY production methods, refusing to use anything that usurps their 'auteur' status. This duplication of effort astonishes outsiders.

The students just get on with it and use BBC Bitesize and anything else they can get their hands on to prepare for the exams. These resources are a boon to students who happen to have had poor teachers, absent teachers, supply teachers, cover teachers. The position, in most schools, I believe, is just awful. BBC Bitesize works in spite of teachers, not because they support its use.

Perhaps it's not really 'teacher technophobia', just a belief in their own cult status, maybe 'teacher megalomania' or 'the cult of the teacher'.

What a depressing, unsophisticated, clunking generalisation of teachers! The wrongful assessment of a whole profession as 'technophobes' or 'luddites' has been a particular concern of mine for the last couple of years. Ask (as I have) groups of teachers whether they use MP3s, digital cameras/videos, satnav, Internet, e-mail, Google Earth, digital TV etc etc and you will almost certainly find that they have at least as much engagement with technology as the rest of the population at large. And, yet for some reason many do not make use of these tools in the workplace (a situation I suspect is true for many professions and occupations). So perhaps we are looking in the wrong direction? Are the technologies we are asking them to use in schools the right technologies? Even if they are, in how many other professions would we expect to introduce such a raft of unproven new technologies in such a short space of time...and expect the professionals to use them with hundreds of critics (the students) looking on?

There are plenty (who could quantify how many... 20-30-40% who knows?) of teachers out there who do not see themselves as the so called 'sage on the stage'. There are plenty who facilitate and/or support students in their own seeking out and understanding of 'knowledge' and are quite happy to leave their egos at home. Many of these use technology creatively and effectively to support this. And a significant number of teachers and schools bring in non-teachers (poets, film-makers, musicians, animators etc) to enrich the whole experience.

We should be identifying, analysing and celebrating the excellent work which is already happening and working out how to make it more widespread. We won't create a bush-fire by dousing the embers.

The natural state for many teachers is more 'Leveller' than 'Luddite'. I am not a teacher but do spend a lot of time observing teachers at work. I fear the 'cult of technology' and 'the cult of the technology guru' to be just as damaging as the 'cult of the teacher' or even 'government knows best'.

And I do appreciate the irony in following a statement such as 'let me tell you how it is...' with accusations of 'teacher megalomania'...very good.

Teacher technophobia is a really unhelpful term - a shorthand way to look for a straightforward 'reason' for poor utilisation of technologies in schools, when what is needed is a way of looking at what is really wrong - and that means accepting it is really complex. Of course there are teachers who are more and less expert/confident with technology - like any other cross-section of the adult poputlation. The difference is that they have a major responsibility to work with technologies in relevant ways. But professional development for inservice teachers has a long way to go. It's about pedagogy - amazing things can happen when students use even very modest technologies (which 'any' teacher could do) - but only if the teacher has a deep understanding of how young people learn and the whole of their approach is geared towards exploratory and/or collaborative ways of working. No amount of technology can compensate for an education culture which has been risk-averse and micro-managed for so long. Many teachers have never worked in an environment where trying something genuinely innovative and giving real responsibility to learners is acceptable. It's more like 'risk-phobia' - and teachers need a completely different experience of training themselves, to learn to be able to work in new ways with their students.

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